Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do? At the heart of today's financial and economic crisis is a problem hiding in plain sight.
In modern capitalism, value-extraction is rewarded more highly than value-creation: the productive process that drives a healthy economy and society. From companies driven solely to maximize shareholder value to astronomically high prices of medicines justified through big pharma's 'value pricing', we misidentify taking with making, and have lost sight of what value really means. Once a central plank of economic thought, this concept of value - what it is, why it matters to us - is simply no longer discussed.
Yet, argues Mariana Mazzucato in this penetrating and passionate new book, if we are to reform capitalism - radically to transform an increasingly sick system rather than continue feeding it - we urgently need to rethink where wealth comes from. Which activities create it, which extract it, which destroy it? Answers to these questions are key if we want to replace the current parasitic system with a type of capitalism that is more sustainable, more symbiotic - that works for us all. The Value of Everything will reignite a long-needed debate about the kind of world we really want to live in.
'Superb ... At a time when government action of any kind is ideologically suspect, and entrepreneurship is unquestioningly lionized, the book's importance cannot be understated' Guardian
According to conventional wisdom, innovation is best left to the dynamic entrepreneurs of the private sector, and government should get out of the way. But what if all this was wrong? What if, from Silicon Valley to medical breakthroughs, the public sector has been the boldest and most valuable risk-taker of all?
'A brilliant book' Martin Wolf, Financial Times
'One of the most incisive economic books in years' Jeff Madrick, New York Review of Books
'Mazzucato is right to argue that the state has played a central role in producing game-changing breakthroughs' Economist
'Read her book. It will challenge your thinking' Forbes
Mariana Mazzucato is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL) where she is also Founder and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She is author of the highly-acclaimed book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, and winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis and the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. She advises policymakers around the world on how to deliver 'smart', inclusive and sustainable growth. She was named as one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation' in the New Republic.